Mitch Miyagawa has been hired as the new Program Director for the Gabriola Arts Council.
Mitch has been producing large-scale community and arts events for 20 years. Among his accomplishments in the arts sector, Mitch founded and produced a Fringe-style theatre festival in Whitehorse; produced a series of arts-based multiculturalism events; and is a nationally-recognized writer, playwright, and filmmaker. He has run his own film production company, and worked as a producer, sound technician, and volunteer in the performing arts. He was Program Director for the Longest Night Society, was playwright-in-residence at Nakai Theatre in Whitehorse, and has served on many arts-related boards, including two terms as President of the Yukon Film Society. Mitch has organized close to 65 conferences, workshops, and community events.
Mitch co-produced, wrote, and directed the feature documentary, A Sorry State, which aired on TVO/ Knowledge in 2013, focusing on the meaning of government apologies. He received the 2013 Writer’s Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award for his work on this film.
For the past three years, Mitch’s focus has been to help people find meaningful and effective connection in their personal and work life through his work as a Certified Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Trainer.
Mitch, who moved to Gabriola four years ago from Whitehorse with his wife Angela and sons Tomio and Sam, says,
“I am aligned with, and excited about, the community-focused vision of the Arts Council. I believe the Arts Council and its festivals are an essential and vibrant part of Gabriola’s unique cultural vibe and identity. The festivals are times where I’ve experienced a meaningful coalescence of place-based spirit and creativity, that really informs the love I have for this island and its community. I’m also aware of some of the unique challenges and opportunities the Arts Council faces here. I’m committed to raising my family on Gabriola, and making it a wonderful place now and for future generations.”
GAC Executive Director Michelle Benjamin says,
“Making this decision was an exciting and challenging task for our Hiring Committee. We received 19 applications from committed and talented candidates, and we spent many hours engaged in discussion and debate over the impressive qualifications and offerings. I am grateful for all of the interest in the position. I am looking forward to working with and learning from Mitch as we head into a new era at the Arts Council. Mitch knows what it takes to create and produce large-scale events, including staying calm when faced with challenges, and working and communicating collaboratively with many groups—from audience to artists to community organizations. He is well-versed in all parts of arts production, from technical to promotional to artistic direction. He has deep leadership experience, and exceptionally strong communication skills. As an artist himself, Mitch will be committed to developing effective and creative ways to support the well-being and growth of artists in all disciplines.”
Mitch begins in his new role on October 1. The Program Director position is replacing the Events Manager. Alina Cerminara, GAC’s talented and energetic Events Manager for the past four years is leaving at the end of October to find adventure and explore the world—watch for news of an opportunity to bid her farewell.